Free Bass Amp Simulators are really hard to find. There are some, but most of them are terrible.
So, in order to save you some time, since I already did some research on the topic, I’m going to share the ones I found that I think are worth trying.
I will also be including a Cabinet simulator at the end which will enhance the sound you can get quite a bit, especially for the plugins that only work as a preamp.
Table of Contents
- GK Amplification 2 LE
- Ignite Amps SHB-1
- TSE BOD v3
- Amplitube Custom Shop
- Bass Grinder Free
- Ronald Passion Bass Preamp
Free Cabinet: NadIR by Ignite Amps
Nr. 1: GK Amplification 2 LE
Modelled after the Gallien-Krueger MB150 amp, the GK Amplification 2 LE can be used as a standalone application or as a VST/AAX/AU plugin.
It is the light version of the GK Amplification 2 Pro, which means that it only includes a single amp model with a single speaker and mic option compared to the full version which has more.
GK Amplification 2 LE includes all the functions and all controls of the original amp.
The great thing is that it can be used for recording in the studio or at home, for band practice, or even live performances since the delay isn’t noticeable.
It is available both for Windows and Mac OS.
Here’s the link to the official website.
Related: If you’re in need of better-sounding Bass VST plugins, then check out this post I wrote about the best Premium ones.
Nr. 2: Ignite Amps SHB-1
The SHB-1 is based on the real SHB-1 Extreme Bass Head which is a custom-built amp designed for the bass player of the band “Subhuman”.
Just like the previous amp on this list, the SHB-1 can be used for practice, recording and also for live performances.
This amp sim can do anything, from thick bass tones, to very tight funky sounds, all the way to heavy metal distorted sounds.
It works both on Windows and Mac OS.
- Dynamic 12AX7 / ECC83 coupled triode stages analog modeling
- Mono / Stereo processing support
- Selectable oversampling rate
- Global input / output level controls
- Double precision (64-bit) floating point mathematical model
- Fully automatable controls
- Zero latency
Here’s the official Website. To download just scroll down until you find the amp and click on the download button.
Related: Here’s a list of the best FREE Guitar VST Plugins that sound great!
Nr. 3: TSE BOD v3
The TSE B.O.D. is a digital replica of the SansAmp Bass Driver DI pedal, which is a very popular bass preamp DI box with distortion, presence, and EQ controls.
This is a very simple plugin which works great and doesn’t really use much CPU power.
The free plugin is available in VST, AU, and AAX formats, with support for both 64 and 32 bit.
Here’s the official Website.
Nr. 4: Amplitube Custom Shop
Amplitube is a standalone program, which means that you can run it on its own without the need of a DAW.
It’s also available, however, as a plugin for VST/AU/AXX format.
It is primarily a Guitar amp simulation program, since most amps and effects you get are geared towards guitar sounds, however it also comes with a bass amp simulation which sounds quite good.
One of the features of the Custom Shop is the ability for you to “try before you buy” individual pieces of gear. You can demo fully working gear for a period of 72 hours.
You basically get a Free version of AmpliTube 4 with 24 models including a digital chromatic tuner, 9 stomps, 4 amps, 5 cabs, 3 mics, 2 rack effects.
If you’d then like to add more effects you can simply purchase them directly from the app itself.
Here’s the official Website.
If you’re also interested in Free Drum VST Plugins, make sure to read this article I wrote on that topic!
Nr. 5: Bass Grinder Free Edition by Audio Assault
This must be one of the simplest plugins out there.
It comes with two amplifiers and three cabinets, nothing more.
It’s incredibly easy to use thanks to the simplicity of the controls.
Available in VST/AU/RTAS/AAX for Windows and Mac OS.
You can download Bass Grinder Free Edition from the vst4free Website.
Related: I love free plugins, so I put together a list of the best Free Synth VST Plugins out there which you can check out here,
Nr. 6: Ronald Passion Bass Preamp
This Bass Preamp is an analog tube bass preamp effect plug-in which is really simple to use, sounds great and you get the cab-emulation built into it which is great since you can activate and de-activate it whenever you want.
If you don’t want to use the built in cab emulation simply add the one I recommend at the end of this list.
- Active Switch (On/Off).
- Cab Switch (On/Off).
- X-tra Lo/X-tra Hi for additional body.
- Drive in preamp input section.
- Bass/Mid/Hi tone controllers.
- Mid frequency selection knob.
- Master output.
Here’s a link to the official Website.
Here’s a list of two affordable and high-quality audio interfaces which will allow you to get a better bass sound.
NadIR by Ignite Amps
NadIR is a zero latency, dual Impulse Response convolver, designed to be used as a cabinet simulator for guitar and bass (pre)amplifiers.
In this video you hear how the guitar tone changes drastically. Same thing happens to the bass tones.
It has been designed to perform extreme quality convolution in real time, while being light on the CPU and easy to use, providing advanced built-in filters and delay controls to let guitarists and bassists shape their tone with ease, without the need to be professional audio engineers.
NadIR is meant to be used as a cabinet simulator for live playing and jamming, tracking or mixing inside hosts capable of VST or AU Plug-Ins support.
- Zero Latency.
- Low CPU usage.
- Three routing modes: Mono, Dual Mono and Stereo.
- Selectable quality control for max IR length (up to 0.185 seconds).
- Automatic high-quality resampling for IRs with different sampling rates.
- High-quality analog shaped filters.
- Selectable delay for phase interactions between loaded IRs.
- Continuous morphing control between loaded IRs.
- Global input level and single IR level controls.
- Fully automatable controls.
Here’s a link to the official Website.
How to learn to Mix Bass properly
Well, even though you could just go by ear and learn by simply listening to what’s happening, which definitely isn’t bad, there’s a way to fast-track your progress and learn how to properly mix a bass guitar in no time.
There are a couple courses out there which teach you this, but this one I found is excellent and super affordable, so make sure to give it a try.
Finding free bass amp VST’s is already hard, but finding good ones is REALLY hard.
The two I liked the most are GK Amplification 2 LE and Ignite Amps SHB-1 simply because of their overall sound quality.
Adding the NadIR free cabinet to the chain can also do wonders for your tone. Just try them all out, since they are free, and see which ones you like the most.
Have a wonderful day!
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